On Thanksgiving morning, the Deseret News published an article about how more and more people are selecting “American” as their ancestry on census forms. The “American” option is intended for people of Native American descent, but, according to the article:
The number of people selecting American ancestry is growing. In 1990, 57,268 Utahns reported only American as their ancestry. The number grew to 150,814 by the 2000 Census.
The article then goes on to explain some theories on why this is taking place:
Why people feel that way is difficult to determine, in part because of the anonymity of the census. A cross section of professionals including demographers, sociologists and genealogists came up with a variety of theories. It could be a simple misunderstanding of the question, or maybe people don’t know their ancestry.
Or it might even be a post-Sept. 11 form of patriotism.
For real, Deseret News? You think the 2000 Census displays “a post-Sept. 11 form of patriotism”? And you wrote an entire article with that as one of the driving theories? Wow.
Most people would have never caught that as simple as it may be…they never did. Maybe you should write a letter to the editor.
The writer should have stipulated that it could be just one reason speculated for the recent increase, but I’m wondering if you missed the paragraph reading, “Yet, for an estimated 183,522 Utahns, the reply is simply ‘American.’ It’s the state’s fourth most common ancestry, after English, German and Mexican, according to the U.S. Census’ 2005 American Community Survey, which asks respondents to write in their ancestry or ethnic origin.”
Well, I did see that, but they compare 1990 and 2000 right BEFORE the 9/11 talk and right AFTER it, AND there was a significantly larger per-year jump from 1990 to 2000 than from 2000 to 2005, which seriously damages any theory that it was caused by something that happened in 2001. I’m just sayin’.
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